Hariri 'to travel to Egypt' before Lebanon visit

Hariri 'to travel to Egypt' before Lebanon visit
2 min read
19 November, 2017
Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri who resigned in Saudi Arabia under mysterious conditions, will fly out to Cairo before a visit to Beirut, his party have said.
Hariri will visit Egypt before his trip to Lebanon [Getty]

Lebanon's Saad Hariri, who recently resigned as prime minister under mysterious circumstances, will visit Egypt capital before a brief visit to Beirut, his party have said.

Hariri's announcement from Saudi Arabia that he would quit his role as Lebanon's premier has engripped the country with many believing he was held hostage and forced to resign by Riyadh.

Now, Hariri is Paris visiting President Emanuel Macron but said he would return to Lebanon on Wednesday for Independence Day celebrations.

A member of his Future Party told Reuters that he now plans to make a trip to Cairo, home of the Arab League and stalwart Saudi ally President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Lebanon has been gripped by the crisis, which is seen as a microcosm of the broader rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Hariri said his decision to resign came after threats to his life and the growing dominance of Hizballah - which is backed by Iran - in Lebanon.

The 4 November announcement came as a new spat began between Saudi Arabia and Iran, when a missile was fired by Yemen rebels - the Houthis, also Tehran allies - and intercepted over the capital Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for the 4 November missile attack and warned of repurcussions.

On Sunday, the Arab League held an emergency meeting in Cairo, at the behest of Saudi Arabia, on Iran's growing influence in the region.

Later that day, Saudi ally Bahrain accused Hizballah of being "totally in control" of Lebanon.

President of Lebanon Michel Aoun has said he will not accept Hariri's resignation unless he returns to Beirut.